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二○一八年七月十四日/七月十五日                                                                                        Click here for English version

「以起初的愛」回應「到底的愛」

滕近輝牧師

「祂(基督)既然愛世間屬自己的人,就愛他們到底」(約十三 1)。「到底」二字的原文,可以有兩種譯法:一、「到底」(時間上);二、「到極點」(程度上)。主愛我們到底,而且到極處。這是何等寶貴的愛!

我們應該怎樣面對這麼「長闊高深」的愛呢?只有「起初的愛」(啟二 4),可以配得過這「到底的愛」。

「起初的愛」四字的原文,可以直譯為「第一的愛」,等於英文"first love"。「第一」有兩個意思:一、「起初」(時間上);二、「最高」(程度上)。

啟示錄二章 4 節所說的「起初的愛」,實際上是時間和程度的綜合體。以弗所教會的基督徒們,在他們信主的初期,心中滿了對主耶穌熱切、深摯、專一的愛。但是漸漸的,這愛被沖淡了,褪色了,甚至變質了。這是何等可惜!

既然主耶穌是以「到底的愛」來愛我們,我們就應當向祂保持「最高的愛」——將祂放在我們人生的首位上,愛祂過於愛一切。這最高的愛也是最深的愛。主耶穌問彼得說:「你愛我比這些更深麼?」彼得回答說:「主啊,是的!」今天,我們能同樣的回答主麼?

(本文摘自滕牧師著作《給我羊》,蒙宣道出版社允許轉載。)






Pastor's Sharing
"First Love" in Response to "Love to the End"
Rev Philip Teng

"Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end" (John 13:1b). The original phrase for "to the end" can be translated in two ways: first, "until the last moment" (in terms of timing); and secondly, "to the fullest degree" (in terms of intensity of love). The Lord loves us to the end and unto the utmost. What precious love!

How shall we respond to Christ's love that is "wide and long and high and deep"? Only "the love you had at first" (Revelation 2:4) is worthy of His love "to the end."

In the original language of the Book of Revelation, "the love you had at first" can be directly translated as "first love." "First" has two meanings: at first (in terms of timing) and "utmost" (in terms of intensity).

"The love you had at first" in Revelation 2:4 really combines the two meanings. In the early days of conversion, the Christians at Ephesus were characterized by ardent, affectionate and unbending love. But as time went by, their love lost warmth and vigor, and gave way to deterioration. What a pity!

Since the Lord Jesus loves us "to the end," we should maintain our "utmost" love for Him. This means we put Him first in our lives, and love Him more than anything else. Such utmost love is also the deepest love. The Lord Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me more than these?" to which Peter replied, "Yes, Lord." Today, can we respond to the Lord in the same way?